For those of you who remember, my name is shg and I started a thread over a year ago titled, "Good Fusion Outcomes Wanted." I was specific with the title because there was a lot of negative feelings towards fusions, etc. Anyway, Many people helped me and I like to think I helped a lot of people as well.
As an update, I had my surgery on 9/2/2003 and well by simple math, it's been over a year. I am now playing golf, driving, swimming, flying, running, working out and feel better than I had for 3 years prior; even after all my previous laminectomies, etc. Life is amazing and I want each of you to know that the success rates are really great. People who have fears, know they are legitimate but also know that there are a lot of us who have successful outcomes. Sadly (and I am guilty of this), those who have them, often times move on with their lives and forget about things such as this site. For those of you who remember me, I apologize. I am here now and I am here to offer any help I can. I reside in NYC, my surgeon is in NYC and I have talked with people who are going through this surgery to help them. In fact, I still visit my nurses just to say hi.
I wish everyone lot's of luck...and keep this one thing in mind...be positive...
Welcome back! It's good to hear from you and it's even better to hear such a positive outcome. I'm so thrilled to hear that you are doing so well. What was your diagnosis that made you decide to have surgery? I have spondy with a fracture at L5-S1 I also suffer from lumbar lordosis and sciatica. I see an ortho on a regular basis but he wants to avoid surgery it possible. He wants me to do aggressive rehab. I have done physio before and I have done epidural shots. I've been off work for over 2 years because of this. I am at wits end and don't know what to do. I would love to be healed non surgically but I am tired of losing my life. I would love to hear about what you went through before you had surgery and what your problems were. Any info you can provide would be really helpful for me. Take care and thanks in advance. Kristy.
Thank you for writing. It's good to be back (no pun intended). Where to start. Let's see, I was always athletic: sailing instructor, swimmer, rugby player, etc and was always in good shape and then one day, pain...i had 2 slipped disc - l4/l5-l5/s1 and i went through rehab, epidural injections, everything and it didn't help so i had my first lami/discectomy. That lasted and did me well for about 6 years, then, bam, familiar pain and tried the same course of actions without relief. So another surgery, same levels. at this point, the doctor mentioned a fusion but i decided against it...big mistake. within 6 months i had my 3rd surgery. Finally, rehab, epi's, etc nothing worked so we tried RFA...that helped but didn't make a huge difference. So i scheduled a 2 level 360 degree fusion with hardware after meeting 4 of the top surgeons in this country and one in the world...all agreed and all knew i needed it...tough to argue with them. So i was scheduled for july of 2003 and chickened out the day before...big mistake again. finally on september 2nd, 2003, I had it done...10 hours of surgery, 7 days in the hospital, however, on the 14th day, after 2 years of pain meds, shots, etc...I have been med free (this remains true to this day). Afterwards, it was not easy but it DID GET BETTER.
Ask me more and I will telll you.
Welcome back! It's good to hear from you and it's even better to hear such a positive outcome. I'm so thrilled to hear that you are doing so well. What was your diagnosis that made you decide to have surgery? I have spondy with a fracture at L5-S1 I also suffer from lumbar lordosis and sciatica. I see an ortho on a regular basis but he wants to avoid surgery it possible. He wants me to do aggressive rehab. I have done physio before and I have done epidural shots. I've been off work for over 2 years because of this. I am at wits end and don't know what to do. I would love to be healed non surgically but I am tired of losing my life. I would love to hear about what you went through before you had surgery and what your problems were. Any info you can provide would be really helpful for me. Take care and thanks in advance. Kristy. [/QUOTE]
I remember you. I was going through a lami/disectomy when you posted originally, but have since had a fusion and referred to your past posts when I started doing my fusion reading. It was a great help for me.
I'm so glad you re-posted and am glad to hear you're doing so well.
Funny you mention golf. I was just wondering yesterday when I might get back to golfing again (and whether this surgery would fix my swing HA). I'm 6 weeks post op. My biggest complaint is that I don't know where I should be progress-wise by now. I guess it's the goal oriented achiever in me.
Anyway... keep posting. I, for one, read the positive posts and try to steer clear of the negative ones.
Interestingly enough, my swing has gotten better as I'm all about the body mechanics now. NO more trying to "kill" the ball.
At 6 weeks, I was doing the basics, walking, taking it easy, etc. Things really got better for me around 9 weeks. In fact last December, just 3.5 months after my surgery, I got on a plane from NYC to Atlanta to visit friends...something I wasn't able to do before. SO if that's any indication, your right on track. Just keep listening to your body and push it a little more each day. When I got home after my surgery, I was able (with brace on) to walk about 50 feet. Each day, I tried to do 10 more and while it was tough, I did it. One thing I wrote long ago was, set daily goals that push the day before's results. If you feel as if you've done too much, chances are you have so take it back a notch. Seriously though, set goals for walks, when you want to get travel, golf, whatever and do what it takes to get to that goal. It's amazing how well things go when you set goals.
Ohhhboy. I'm doing great. I just came back from a trip to Florida from Dallas to see my mom (therapy I personally don't recommend - seeing MY mother) so I have the travel thing down. I am 6 wks post op. I went to Target at 2 weeks and I'm bad with distance but can probaby walk 1/4 mile right now. These are all things I couldn't do pre-surgery.
Wow , it is good to hear good outcomes of a surgery. We need more positve results of surgerys, I think you are a good example, so I am glad you are back. Keep up the good work,you are an inspiration to many.
SHG, I am glad you are back. I am 9 wks. post op from a fusion and I read your thread the months prior to my surgery. It was such a relief to see the good news of people rather than just the bad news. I look forward to seeing your progress as I can now use it as a measureing marker for myself. I work for the airlines and look forward to the day I can travel again. I am still having problems sitting so I don't think I can fly yet...but I am up to 2 miles of walking every day and I can lift items that I havent been able to in years. I have just started swimming too, which is a biggy
Please keep us posted and I look forward to posting with you.
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Your on target. All bodies are different and the healing process for each is just as individual. If you keep setting those goals and keep doing what you are doing, it will get better on it's own.
This is for everyone...DO NOT get discouraged because you are not doing jumping jacks right away. DO NOT allow yourselves to feel defeated as what each of us has had is a true trauma to the body. Remember this, our lives before this surgery was limited and we all had many losses because of it (traveling, going out, doing the basics, time in the hospital, etc) yet now each of you have HOPE and that hope should carry you forward! Set goals, keep a diary and watch the progression and in no time, with proper care, each of you will feel the success that I and many others have had!
SHG, thank you for starting that "Good Fusions ..." thread!! That kept me going in the weeks and months after my fusion on 2/25/04. I tried to focus on the positive to keep my spirits high and that thread helped me tremendously!
It's so inspiring to read how far you've come in your year since surgery and how you've resumed all your activities. I'm now 8 months post-op and I feel fantastic. Recovery had its ups and downs (I had a lot of hip pain at my harvest site) but all the pain has passed and I'm also at full activity -- although, I'm not an athletic type person.
As you said, it's easy to get discouraged because healing can be slow. I love your diary idea; I keep one also and I'm actually still seeing improvement - even after 8 months - in the form of many pain-free days (weeks even) strung together in a row.
Thank you for visiting again and thank you so much for that inspiring thread ... you've helped a lot of folks with that!
Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it and I forgot how powerful this site is and was for me. It really amazes me how negative people can be towards one another and the thought that I was able to help just one of you is amazing!
If anyone else needs info, please let me know. Also, anyone in the NY area, if interested, I can offer you the name of my sirgeon who is a miracle worker. After a total of 4 surgeries, he changed my life. If you don't recall, I pleayed rugby for 9 years so my back was really bad with spondy and I have no discs left.
I started working out again in February. I've nly recently started using weights though. Very light, and lots of reps. I have been bad with stomach excercises though but will soon be starting pillates. As for running, I don't really run much although I could, instead, I use the eliptical machine and that started in February as well. So the quick answer is, 5 months.